5 Tips for Painting Shiplap

Hi Friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating America. We had an absolute blast and are fully paying for it now as the boys are two hot messes. But it was so worth it! We even fit in time for house projects which is a bonus these days. We had a few miscellaneous projects in the works so it was nice to get those finished….so we can move onto the next ones ;).

Last week I shared our laundry room makeover (here) and promised to share more details on this space with you. I figured lets start with the star of the show, the faux shiplap (or planked wall). I mentioned before that we ultimately decided to shiplap the whole room to lighten up the space and give it a dramatic transformation. It truly did all that and more!  

We decided to go with faux shiplap which is basically sheets of 4′ x 8′ plywood cut into 6 inch wide strips. It is very cost-effective ($12/sheet) and gives a similar look to real shiplap at a fraction of the price. For our laundry room this was definitely the best option for us as we wanted a big impact on a small budget ;).

The friendly worker at Home Depot cut the sheets into 6″ wide strips and the exact length for our walls. It saved us so much time! By doing it this way we used all of our plywood without extra waste and only needed 2 sheets.

Once we got our plywood home, we sanded all the edges, and got it ready to hang. This is when my husband and I both looked at each other and thought holy sh** are we going to hammer and nail in every one of these boards?!? With very little deliberation we headed back to Home Depot and picked up a nail gun, and never looked back.

Now that we had our nail gun, it was time to get the boards onto the wall! We used a quarter to evenly space each board to give the look of real shiplap. We applied an even layer of liquid nails and then finished off each board with nails into the studs (that we found using a stud finder). The nail gun was the bomb and made this project fly, not to mention how small the holes were to putty and sand! It is worth every penny if you plan on doing a lot of wall treatments around your house (in my opinion!). Also, that shiplap is not going anywhere!

After the shiplap was up, I puttied all the nail holes, sanded, and then caulked the trim and around the windows. I would say that took up the majority of the time. Next it was time to paint. I was sooo excited to get the paint up on the walls.

When it was time to paint I was a little stumped at first on how to get perfectly crisp shiplap with clean lines between each board. I have seen so many great tutorials on how to hang shiplap, but not as much focused on painting the shiplap. And to me, painting the shiplap is just as important as getting perfectly level boards! So…I wanted to share with you guys my simple tips for painting shiplap.

  1. Paint the wall(s) white where you will be hanging your shiplap – Or color of your choice. This may seem like a step that can be skipped, but it is the key to having those beautiful clean lines. Our walls were blue prior and we quickly through a thick coat of white paint up and it made all the difference. And remember it is going to be covered by your shiplap so don’t worry about trimming out around windows or the ceiling!
  2. Use a matte finish– This one is personal preference, but I think it’s worth mentioning. I did a lot of research on the “proper” finish for shiplap and across the border matte finish was the best for painted shiplap. It’s not shiny or glossy, but is also durable and doesn’t show brush or roller marks terribly. I read a few horror stories of people using the wrong finish and having to start their whole project over! However, keep in mind depending on where you shiplap and the finished look you what to achieve this one could vary!
  3. Use a minimal to moderate amount of paint – I used a roller (more on this in next step), and a very moderate to minimal amount of paint. This helps keep dripping to a bare minimum and the boards and lines really clean and smooth. Even with doing moderate to minimal coats, our room only needed two coats total!
  4. Roll horizontally – This one was the key to my success. First I used a small brush to cut around windows and the ceiling, and then rolled my boards horizontally. This made it so the paint was not dripping downwards into my beautiful lines ;).
  5. Paint in sections, using a toothpick to remove any paint in your seams – It is easiest to remove any paint that drips between your seams when it is wet! Therefore, I painted in small sections working from the top to the bottom and going back with my toothpick and making sure every line was free of paint. Yes, this may seem like a lot of work but I was not willing to lose my perfectly spaced lines because of some paint drippage! And that is it clean, crisp shiplap!

I used every drop of the gallon container. And this was a pretty small space! I was not expecting that at all. The plywood just soaks the paint right up. For our shiplap, I used Sherwin William Alabaster because that is the same color as our baseboards. It is such a beautiful white for shiplap too!

Let me know if you have any other questions! As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

P.S. All of the laundry room sources can be found here!



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  • Wendy
    July 7, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Love the look! What a great idea to punch up an otherwise boring space! One question, could you paint the faux shiplap before you put it up?

    • Raising Rustic
      July 7, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Wendy,
      You absolutely could! I have seen others do that, but personally chose not to so I wasn’t worrying about chipping the paint or scratching it up when we were nailing. Let me know if you do it this way and how it works out! Thanks so much!

  • Cheryl Saunders
    September 13, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Hi, Looks great, I’m thinking of attempting to do the same to my laundry room. Approximately how many nails did you put into each board? Did you nail the ends only or in other places as well?
    Thank you,

  • Maria Mancini
    October 30, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Wow! Well done!
    These were just the tips that I was looking for. I shiplapped under my stairs for a book nook. And needed some tips on painting…. BTW, we used a bag of popsicle sticks for the spacers and found they worked just as well.
    Off I go now….

  • Jackie
    November 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    What nap did you use on your roller?

  • Diane S
    January 6, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for the great tips….BTW, I love the Rae Dunn dog bowl 🙂

    • Farmhouse Blooms
      January 7, 2018 at 9:01 am

      You are so welcome! Thank you, we love it too!


Hi, I'm Jess. Soon to be mom of three and lover of all things decor and design. Follow along as we renovate our newly bought farmhouse one room at at time, and welcome baby #3. So happy you are here!


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